What is one thing that can improve your mental and physical health at the same time? One answer could be movement. Regular movement or exercise provides many benefits in regards to the mind and body, and can also influence your sleep.
The mind and body connection plays a role in one’s overall health, including their quality of sleep. Mind and body connection is the thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes that can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning. The brain communicates with our body through neural pathways that are made up of neurotransmitters. Those neural pathways send signals between the brain and the body, so the mind-body connection shows that our mind can attribute to how healthy our bodies are by controlling functions like breathing, digestion, thinking and feeling. This connection has an interrelationship because what one does physically may also affect the mental state.
There are many movements you can practice to promote the mind-body connection. Some notable methods include yoga, meditation, and relaxation. Yoga is a great example of movement for sleep because it is a mind-body exercise that provides positive effects for sleep and other benefits like improving one’s mood and mental health. In a study provided by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), they found that over 55% of yoga practitioners reported their quality of sleep improving. How does movement like yoga improve sleep exactly? Well, yoga promotes mindfulness, which increases melatonin levels and reduces the chances of being distrubed during sleep. Yoga also incorporates meditation methods by creating breathing awareness and regulation, which is a relaxation technique that can induce sleep.
Movement facilitates sleep by functioning as a role in both physical and mental levels. Regular movement, whether that be yoga or exercise, is most influential on one’s sleep because movement stretches and relaxes the muscles that lead to less sleep latency, deeper sleep, less sleep disturbances, and better sleep efficiency. It is recommended by the CDC, to get at least thirty minutes of movement and seven to nine hours of sleep daily to improve your general wellness, which includes relieving stress, improving mental health, promoting balance, and increasing healthy habits.
Interested in improving your movement for better sleep? Follow along with Caravan teacher Julia and her 10 Minute Movement for Sleep. Add this relaxing movement to your nightly routine to calm your body and mind before bed. Start moving today!
Dr. Michael Breus https://thesleepdoctor.com/author/dr-michael-breus/. “How Exercise Affects Sleep.” The Sleep Doctor, 27 June 2022, https://thesleepdoctor.com/exercise/.
“Exercising for Better Sleep.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, 8 Aug. 2021, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/exercising-for-better-sleep.
“How Yoga Can Improve Your Sleep Quality.” Sleep Foundation, 6 May 2022, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-activity/yoga-and-sleep.
“What Happens When You Sleep: The Science of Sleep.” Sleep Foundation, 1 Apr. 2022, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/what-happens-when-you-sleep.
“What Is the Mind-Body Connection?” Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing, https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/what-is-the-mind-body-connection.